World Travel

Tour 1 from Len�ios, Mucugezinho, Poço do Diabo, Morro da Pai I�acio, Gruta de Torrinha

21 February: I'd heard some mosquitoes around me during the night and we discover quite a few lazily buzzing around the room in the morning (they were easy to kill) but we weren't bitten by any of them due to the mosquito net. This is a nice new experience for us! We're up at 7, breakfast is same as yesterday, there are a lot of tiny microscopically small ants crawling around the table, which turns me off a bit.

The Lentur bus picks us up from the Pousada shortly after 8:30, the Brazilians from the day before are with us again. Small world. The first attraction is Mucugezinho, which we reach by walking down a path downhill for about half a km. It's a nice set of rambling waterfalls. While looking at the falls, I suddenly see something moving in a nearby tree, it's a small devilish-looking creature, hard to identify. Some Brazilians around us say it's a Mico monkey. A number of people in our group are busy photographing the creature.

Falls over huge slanting rock slab at Mucugezinho Mico monkey busy nibbling on the bark of this tree
Falls over huge slanting rock slab at Mucugezinho
Mico monkey busy nibbling on the bark of this tree
Hey, this guy's sticking his tongue out at me! Plants
Hey, this guy's sticking his tongue out at me!
Plants
Quartet Cachoeira do Diabo falls from above
Quartet
Cachoeira do Diabo falls from above
Poço do Diabo falls Part of Poço do Diabo falls
Poço do Diabo falls
Part of Poço do Diabo falls
Plant at Poço Diabo  Sign to restaurant at Mucugezinho
Plant at Poço Diabo 
Sign to restaurant at Mucugezinho

We have a number of avid photographers in our mostly-male group. We cross the river over some large rocks and walk on down further and finally reach another rather spectacular set of falls, the Cachoeira do Diablo (cachoeira means waterfall in Portuguese). We can swim, the others are in before us and we catch up, they're all under or on the banks near the falls. We swim to a small spot under the falls to, very nice. Sometime later we return to the riverbank and I decide to walk across a shallow part of the river to see the Brazilians have detected another set of falls just beneath us! Another wonderful sight! The two Brazilians need to photograph each other at every strange location, and of course I'm asked if I could snap them posing under the falls.

Soon enough, the other adventurous guys in our group have seen that we've found something new and they've joined us too. I venture a bit further downstream and discover that's is quite easy to reach a deep, narrow chasm called Poço do Diabo with another deep waterfall. Wow, what a place. The others join me sometime later. This is the most curious and adventurous group we traveled with and for me the best by far!

The path up Pai In�cio The wonderful view on the way up Pai In�cio
The path up Pai In�cio
The wonderful view on the way up Pai In�cio
Typical table-mountain rock on the way up Pai In�cio Flowers on Pai In�cio
Typical table-mountain rock on the way up Pai In�cio
Flowers on Pai In�cio
Bearded Cactii on Pai In�cio Plants on Pai In�cio
Bearded Cactii on Pai In�cio
Plants on Pai In�cio
Patterned rock on Pai In�cio Flower on Pai In�cio
Patterned rock on Pai In�cio
Flower on Pai In�cio
Top of Pai In�cio Table mountains beside Pai In�cio
Top of Pai In�cio
Table mountains beside Pai In�cio
Flower on Pai In�cio Small pool on the top of Pai In�cio
Flower on Pai In�cio
Small pool on the top of Pai In�cio

After a while we've seen it, so we all return to the bus and set off for the next sight, Morro do Pai I�cio (Hill of Father In�cio). We drive through a spectacular table-mountain landscape, very similar to Venezuela's Tepuis. It's possible to drive quite high up the mountain by van. There's a radio relay station there and the road must have been built for easy access to it. Our guide pays an entrance fee and we set off on foot for the remaining half-hour's walk to the top. On the way, there are breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, I can't see enough of what we are seeing! On the top (this is the first time I am on the top of a table-mountain and I'm quite excited), we can look down the other side of the mountain and the view of the whole area really WOWs! Soon the French guys are making noises to our guide that they're getting ready for lunch so we set off to Gruta de Torrinho, which in place of the originally scheduled Gruta Azul/Pratinha combination, which are apparently spoiled by rainwater.

Our lunch consists of a small plastic bag with sandwich, fruit, fruit juice and water (I was expecting a bit more). There's a spot just next to the cafe of the Gruta where there seem to be hundreds of small butterflies populating a small stretch of the dusty path. I couldn't detect what they were attracted by.

This one's got a lot of tentacles.. Didn't find out what all these butterflies were up to on the ground in front of Gruta da Torrinha
This one's got a lot of tentacles..
Didn't find out what all these butterflies were up to on the ground in front of Gruta da Torrinha
The large entrance to Gruta da Torrinha I didn't believe my eyes: Yes, the entry to the the cave is through this slim crack on the rock!
The large entrance to Gruta da Torrinha
I didn't believe my eyes: Yes, the entry to the the cave is through this slim crack on the rock!
Deep inside Gruta da Torrinha Deep inside Gruta da Torrinha. Large parts of the ceiling have dropped to the floor as enormous slabs of rock, which sometimes move when you walk over them
Deep inside Gruta da Torrinha
Deep inside Gruta da Torrinha. Large parts of the ceiling have dropped to the floor as enormous slabs of rock, which sometimes move when you walk over them
Unique spiky Aragonite in Gruta da Torrinha (there's no other one like this wordwide) Out of Torrinha and the moon's here
Unique spiky Aragonite in Gruta da Torrinha (there's no other one like this wordwide)
Out of Torrinha and the moon's here
Ancient cave markings thousands of years old Plastic flower?
Ancient cave markings thousands of years old
Plastic flower?
Spiky leaf Now you know why this table mountain is called "the camel"
Spiky leaf
Now you know why this table mountain is called "the camel"

A local cave-guide pops up and starts explaining the Torrinha cave system to us, he says there are three paths into it, a short on, a medium one and a long one. The long one would take us three house, we and the Brazilian girl were the only ones who chose to take Route two, which would only take 2 hours, the others all want to go for tour 3! What a great group! We're all given plastic helmets and we're taken in to the cave entrance by three young and motivated guides, each with his own gas lantern. A Brazilian guy translates the guides' explanations into English. The passages are at times impossibly low or narrow and you have to be pretty slim to visit this cave! The sights are very beautiful, the guides turn off their lamps at the end for us to experience the deep black silence of this immense cave! We'd taken from 14:30 to 16:30 to reach the end of the cave, but only 20 minutes to walk out again! What a wonderful experience! Our small rucksacks are covered with find dust like icing which is impossible to remove through shaking (we were practically crawling on all fours at times). Outside again, we can see some Indian cave paintings supposedly 8-10'000 years old. On the way back we stop for a picture of the table mountain called Camelo (camel).

Back in Lençois, we're very efficient in completing our list of pending tasks, we find a new pousada for the next day (our owner's expecting a group to fill the whole pousada, so we must move elsewhere), find a special camera battery for the camera (we would have thought this impossible!!!) which died today, find a rather unmotivated shoemaker to fix the loose sole of my sneakers (after following him wordlessly a hundred meters or so down the road, I decide to buy some glue and stick the sole myself), change some US$ at Lentur, pay our pousada, have dinner at a very snobby restaurant playing avant-garde jazz (the European owner says he 'doesn't deal in beer': well!), I have a so-so Pizza Margarita. Caipiroskas all the time, which are Caipirinha's with Vodka instead of Cacha�a.

Continue to 22.2 Second day-tour to Cachoeira da Fumaça